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Posted: 2021-08-05 11:10:06 (ET)    [ 318 views ]

Pitchers’ Impact

At VMI we primarily focus on hitters and how the weight of the air for each day’s games tends to affect the results.  Of course, we have pointed out the movement on the various pitches, especially focusing on the four-seam fastball as it is the most used pitch in baseball and moves in the opposite direction of most of the other pitches.  While we realize most fantasy players and wager participants just want a simple answer to input into their own formulas, baseball is never simple.  There are just too many games, too many variables, too many players and too many pitch types to keep it simple.  Now, we have helped thousands of participants, as well to realize there are too many differing weights of air that impact the movement differentials at the end of each pitch, at exactly the time the hitter is partially through his swing.  

This invisible impact caused by air alone has always been a big factor in hitter and pitcher performance.  Historically, the approach by coaches and managers has been to ignore climatic conditions because they acknowledged that nothing could be done about that and both teams were playing in the same conditions.  So, the “no excuses” mantra developed and has been the go-to answer for all of baseball, at all levels and by all coaches and participants.  It has been good for baseball, but nothing is ever the final answer for all time and all situations as most all of us know by now.  Tomorrow always brings new ideas, inventions, and concepts.

We have purposely chosen to use our VMI to help hitters who are 30% successful against pitchers who are 70% successful as a general rule in baseball.  Most observers just call it an unfair contest by design, and so it is.  Therefore, most of our discussion on this website is centered around the hit percent against the pitch-type of teams and individual pitchers within the variable air densities.  However, since most of our members look to us to help them make quick choices for trading players, picking starters, wagering games and over/unders, can the VMI be useful to determine a good pitchers poor performance?  

To answer that question, I would first say—not always, of course, but regularly—yes.  Our long-time members have noticed that a key which is hard to discover, is that a fully adjusted team of hitters indicated by a zero VMI is not an indication the hitters will be successful.  In fact, pitchers who face a fully adjusted team of hitters are given more credit than they deserve.  In such a case, pitchers are fully (probably above 70%) advantaged over the hitters.   This fact seems to be true especially when focusing on the four-seam fastball.  You will notice that the percentage of hits against this pitch is many times below 3% of the strikes thrown when the VMI for hitters is in the 0._??_ any decimal amount range.  Overall averages per season are about 9% hits/strike against this pitch.  I call it the zero effect.  That is; zero is many times the achievement either in 4-seam hits or runs for a team that is at zero-something VMI.  Furthermore, when the hitters generate more hits, it is most often against the secondary pitches.  

With that in mind, pitchers are advantaged when the VMI shows zero something, they are advantaged when the VMI is more than minus (-) 3.00  and only disadvantaged against the four-seam fastball when the VMI is above +5.00!  Pitchers are always advantaged with their assortment of pitch-types, high velocity, decision-making and art of pitch location.  It is only the decision of the pitcher, catcher or coach that can derail that advantage with the primary exception of the thinner air.  

Other than that--success or failure is actually in the hands, eyes, reaction, memory, experience and overall capability of the hitter. 


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